The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Volume 8

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community0%

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Author:
Translator: Badr Shahin
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center
Category: Various Books

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community

Author: Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim
Translator: Badr Shahin
Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

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The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Volume 8

Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Book Eight: The System of Devotional Acts of the Virtuous Community

Author(s): Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim

Translator(s): Badr Shahin

Publisher(s): ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

Miscellaneous information:

The Role of the Ahl al-Bayt in Building the Virtuous Community Book Eight: The System of Devotional Acts of the Virtuous Community Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Al-Hakim Project supervisor: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) Translator: Badr Shahin Editor: Iffat Shah and Carol Ahmadi Revised by: Ashraf Carl Eastman Ahmadi Publisher: ABWA Publishing and Printing Center First Printing: 2011 © Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly (ABWA) All rights reserved.

نام كتاب: دور أهل البيت (ع) في بناء الجماعة الصالحة / ج 8 نويسنده: آية الله سيد محمد باقر الحكيم تهيه كننده: اداره ترجمه، اداره كل پژوهش مجمع جهاني اهل بيت (ع) مترجم: بدر شاهين زبان ترجمه: انگليسى


This version is published on behalf of

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Prelude 10

General Methodology 11

Note 11

Chapter 1: Timed Acts Of Worship 12

Prelude 13

Daily Devotional Acts 14

Daily Prayers, Supererogatory Prayers and Details 14

More Privileges 15

Post-Prayer Litanies 18

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an 20

The Best Times of Worship in a Day 20

Voluntary Prayers and Prayer of Inadvertence 21

Notes 22

Weekly Acts of Worship 25

Fridays and Thursday Nights 25

Supplications of the Days of the Week 25

Prayers of the Days of the Week 25

Notes 25

Monthly Acts of Worship 26

Prayer on the First Day of the Month 26

Three-Day Fasting Each Month 26

Notes 27

Yearly Acts of Worship 28

Special Days and Nights 28

Three Blessed Months 28

Hajj and the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah 28

The Three Blessed Months 29

The Month of Rajab 29

Merits of Rajab 29

Rites of Rajab 30

Supplications 30

Formulas of Ziyarah 30

Litanies 30

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an 31

Multiform Prayers 31

Acts of the First Night and Day of Rajab 32

Salat al-Ragha'ib (Prayer of Desires) 32

Prayer on the Bright (Moonlit) Nights of Rajab, Sha’ban, and Ramadhan 33

Rites of the Night of Mid-Rajab 33

Rites of the Twenty-Seventh Night and Day of Rajab 33

The Month of Sha’ban 34

Merits of Sha’ban 34

Rites of Sha’ban 36

Fasting 36

Litanies 36

Almsgiving 37

Invocations of Blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his Household 37

Supplications and Whispered Prayers (Munajat) 38

First: The first night and day of Sha’ban 38

Second: Thursdays of Sha’ban 38

Third: The Third of Sha’ban 38

Fourth: The mid-Sha’ban Night 38

Fifth: The Last Days and the Last Night of Sha’ban 38

The Month Of Ramadhan 39

Merits of Ramadhan 39

Rites of Ramadhan 43

First Part: The Common Devotional Acts of Ramadhan 43

Devotional Acts Common to the Nights and Days 43

Supplications after each obligatory prayer or at all times 43

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an 43

Litanies 44

Prayers 44

Devotional Acts Common to the Nights of Ramadhan 44

Breaking the Fast 44

Almsgiving 44

Recitation of the Holy Qur'an 45

Supplications 45

Prayers 45

Devotional Acts Common to Early Dawn 46

Having the Early Dawn Meal (Suhur) 46

Supplications and Whispered Prayers 46

Devotional Acts Common to Daytime 47

Supplication 47

Litanies and Doxologies 47

Invocations of Blessings 47

Second Part: Devotional Acts Dedicated to Certain Nights and Days 47

The Devotional Acts on Certain Days of Ramadhan 48

Devotional Acts on the First Night and Day 48

Watching the New Moon 48

Ritual Bathing 48

Visiting Imam Husayn (‘a) 48

Supererogatory Prayers 48

Supplications 48

Devotional Acts on the Bright Nights of Ramadhan 49

Rites of the Nights of Qadr 49

Devotional Acts of the Last Ten Nights of Ramadhan 49

Particular Acts of Days and Nights 50

Hajj and the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah 50

Categories of the Ritual Hajj 51

Distinctive Features of Hajj 54

Characteristics of the Ahl al-Bayt’s View of Hajj 56

Great Interest 57

Comprehensiveness of the Devotional Content of Hajj 57

Visiting the Holy Prophet (S), the Holy Imams (‘a), and Places of Worship 58

Notes 59

Identifying the General Political Attitude 63

Meeting the Imam and the Leadership of the Muslim Community 63

Hajj: Jihad of the Weak 64

The Course of the Devotional Acts During The Hajj Season 66

The Devotional Acts Attached to the Rites of Hajj 66

The Devotional Acts On The Day Of ‘Arafāt 69

Rites on the Night before the Day of ‘Arafat 70

Supplications 70

Litanies 70

Visiting Imam Husayn (‘a) 70

Rites on the Day of ‘Arafat 70

Ritual Bathing 70

Prayers 70

Fasting 70

Litanies 71

Supplications 71

Personal Supplications 71

The Devotional Acts On The First Ten Days Of Dhu’l-Hijjah 71

Fasting 71

Prayers 71

Supplications 71

Litanies 72

The Devotional Acts On The Tashriq Days 72

Offering an Animal in Sacrifice 72

Litany 72

Notes 72

Chapter Two: Untimed Acts Of Worship 74

Prelude 74

Prayer 75

The Untimed Recommended Prayers 76

Voluntary Prayers 77

Prayers of the Holy Infallibles (‘a) 78

The Holy Prophet’s Prayer (S) 78

Imam ‘Ali’s Prayer 78

Lady Fatimah al-Zahra'‘s Prayer 78

Ja’far al-Tayyar’s Prayer 79

Prayers for Granting of Needs 81

Other Prayers for Granting Specific Needs 82

Istikharah and Its Prayer 82

Dedicated Prayers 84

The Burial Night Prayer 84

Prayers for the Parents 85

Notes 85

Fasting 87

Obligatory Fasting 87

Forbidden Fasting 87

Recommended Fasting 88

Notes 89

Supplication 90

Motives for Responding to Supplications 91

More Motives 94

The Best Times for Supplicating 94

Places of Supplicating 95

Conditions of Supplicating 95

When Supplications are Rejected 96

Special Directions 97

Imprecation of Punishment on the Enemies 97

Invoking Allah’s Curse upon a Lying Party (Mubahalah) 98

Showing the Points of Error in Supplications 100

Spontaneous Supplications are the Best Supplications 101

Objectives of Supplicating 102

Reported Formulas of Supplications 104

Notes 106

Dhikr 108

Categories Of Dhikr 110

Dhikr in its private meaning 110

1. Basmalah 111

Basmalah: the Motto of the Virtuous Community 111

2. Isti’adhah 112

3. Tahlil 113

4. Tahmid 114

5. Tasbih 114

6. Takbir 115

7. Hawqalah 116

8. Mashi'ah 116

Istighfar 117

The Limit of Asking for Forgiveness 121

Hastening to Implore for Forgiveness 122

Invocations Of Blessings 124

Gains of Invocations of Blessings upon the Prophet and his Household 125

Circumstances of Invocations of Blessings 127

Conclusion 129

Times and Situations of Dhikr 129

Recommended situations for dhikr 130

Objectives Of Dhikr 133

Spiritual Effects 133

Material Effects 134

Notes 134

Jihad 138

Significance and Merit of Jihad 140

Categories of Jihad 143

Laws Appertaining to Jihad 144

Circumstances for Jihad 148

Ribat (Taking up Positions on the Borders) 152

Conclusion 152

Notes 153

Epilogue 154


At the outset, it seems appropriate to allude to a number of essential points that are both relevant to the system of devotional acts and to other discussions.

First: Clearly, the circle of recommended rites in general and recommended devotional acts in particular is considerably large, even though some of these have no documented evidence of having been issued by one of the Holy Infallibles (‘a); as such, they cannot be recommended or authorized by the sources of religious laws. As a result, one should perform these acts under the probability that they are a requirement of religious law. This sort of intention is in the terminology of Shi’ite jurisprudence called raja' al-matlubiyyah (Probability of Requirement).

In this respect, several authentically reported traditions hold that when a believer practices an act which is transmitted to him by someone from the Holy Prophet (S), with the intention of gaining its reward, then Almighty Allah will record for him that reward even if it has been untrue.

In Shi’ite jurisprudence, the tenor of such traditions lies under the rule of Concession in the Proof of Recommended Acts.1

All the same, we will mention the recommended rites and devotional acts mentioned in validly reported traditions that confirm their recommendation and validity, and we will try to choose the examples of rites and acts that generally conform with the invariable line of the chains of authority that are reported from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a). Consequently, these acts will be considered recommended, in their capacity as examples of the general line adopted by the Holy Imams (‘a), even if we lack specific evidence of their recommendation.

Second: In sessions of devotional acts, we notice that there is a variety and a combination of various devotional acts, such as ceremonial purity (represented by the ritual ablution and bathing), prayers, supplications, litanies, almsgivings, fasting, and the like. This reveals that these devotional sessions have a common method and goal, which entails that human perfection can be attained through no other means than the mixture of these devotional acts, since the spiritual and psychological needs of man are various and miscellaneous. In view of this fact, it is necessary to take much interest in such variety of devotional acts in all sessions in order to achieve this perfection and it is necessary, not to restrict oneself to a definite sort of devotional act.

Third: The intensified course of devotional acts in daily worship, or at other times, may create the misconception that Islam calls man to turn away from performing his social duties, both individual and collective, and devote all his time to devotional acts, such as prayers, fasting, supplications, etc. Suspension of social activities will naturally turn human life into monasticism which is forbidden by Islam.

Islam lays great emphasis on the social aspect of human life, which we have discussed in the previous books of this series and has preferred it to various sorts of recommended devotional acts. The Economic System emphasizes that earning a lawful living is the best sort of worship, seeking of knowledge for a single hour is preferred to seventy-years of worship, settlement of disagreements among individuals and groups is better than all prayers and fasting, and meeting brothers-in-faith and fulfilling one’s duties towards them is also preferred to all recommended prayers and fasting. All these examples demonstrate the fact that carrying out social duties is preferred to the practice of recommended devotional acts

Through this intensified course of devotional acts, Islam only intends to give man the opportunity to make the totality of his life acts of worship, although it already offers him priority and variety in the practice of acts of obedience to enable him to attain self-perfection without having to violate the social equilibrium.

General Methodology

The acts of worship system is characterized by all-inclusiveness and variety, as it represents the chief goal of man’s existence and creation, as maintained by Almighty Allah:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (56)

I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me. (51:56)

Thus, the methodology of the system of acts of worship, as set up by Islam and elucidated by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), is comprehensive and all-inclusive, for all time to come.

This methodology of the system of acts of worship falls within two main areas:

The First group of acts involves timed devotional acts dedicated to certain hours, days, or anniversaries, including the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly acts of worship.

The Second group of acts includes untimed devotional acts.


1. - The Rule of Concession in the Proofs of Recommended Acts (al-tasamuh fi addillat al-sunan) is a jurisprudential principle entailing inclusion of a certain state within a common ruling even if this state has not been adequately proven as belonging to it.

Chapter 1: Timed Acts Of Worship


Timed acts of worship are of four kinds:

1. Daily acts of worship

2. Weekly acts of worship

3. Monthly acts of worship

4. Yearly, or seasonal, acts of worship

The course of worship, expounded by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), has its origin in both the obligatory and recommended devotional acts determined by Islam in its code of law from which further actions branch out. The daily obligatory and supererogatory prayers, the weekly congregational Friday prayers, the obligatory fasting, the ritual Hajj Pilgrimage, and the recommended three-day fasting done every month are all indicative of the all-inclusiveness of this system.

To a certain extent and at a certain level, such all-inclusiveness is compulsory or semi-compulsory, while at another level, it gives man the opportunity to worship the Lord and attain self-perfection through these devotional acts within a wisely planned strategy of education, self-purification, and self-refinement.

The classification of these devotional acts also shows the profundity, accuracy, and perfection of this course delivered by the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), and their attention towards the building of a virtuous community through the acts of worship and this course in particular.

This course comprises various acts such as prayers, fasting, pilgrimage (including the ritual major and minor Hajj and visiting the tombs of holy personalities), struggling against enemies, supplications, litanies, recitation of the Holy Qur'an, almsgiving, building good relations with others, doing charitable acts, seeking knowledge, and other obligatory and recommended devotional acts.